It can sometimes be a challenge for veterans to sail through the transition from military to civilian life. The search for employability can be accompanied by hardships and stress with more peril than ever faced in military life.
The anxiety normally stems from veterans not being able to fit their honed military skills into civilian lifestyle. A survey conducted in 2012 found that 60% veterans considered transferring their military skills to the civilian employment market as a significant challenge.
Good news is it is possible for you to address and overcome these challenges by identifying what you value, updating yourself with qualification, and working on areas where you can improve.
Here are some keys to get started:
Civilianize your resume
Traditional resume advice requires job seeking veterans to quantify achievements, which means placing them into verifiable terms. A better approach however is to translate your skills into information that can be easily understood (that sniper marksmanship medal may be irrelevant).
The resume should further include a clearly defined goal. Don’t make employers guess; they can develop a good sense of your objectives by just taking a quick glance. You can do research on different occupations and pinpoint a specific career you want to pursue.
Update your skillset
Although some veterans may not possess the skills required for immediate employment, they can always update their skillset through retraining and education opportunities, which can mean anything from taking part in re-employment initiatives to earning a college degree.
A look at the criminal justice programs reveals the raised emphasis some educational are placing emphasis on mandatory field experience to better prepare graduates for a place in the professional workforce. Some of the foundations even offer training during coursework in return for relevant certification without any additional expense.
Veterans can enroll in such courses to update their skills and knowledge through expert instruction on current policies, trends and practices in their field of interest. Likewise, they can test resources willing to do the ground work such as Hire Our Heroes.
Keep an open mind
Don’t write off a company or even a specific job before you equip yourself with all the available information. Corporate America has thousands of opportunities for veterans coming out of service, and majority of them are great working places outside the prolific Fortune 500.
In fact, you may be able to find an easier route to success with vacant roles outside the metropolitan locations and jobs offered by privately owned firms. Take some time to investigate all options before you take decision.
Adhere to civilian rules
Military members can be used to being direct and communicating to the point, but civilian communication often prefers a conversational tone. You will have better chances of succeeding as a candidate by adapting to the communication style of your employer.
Many organizations also expect employees to be actively involved in tasks and processes; make sure you skip the military lingo and adhere to such rules to settle in.
Bottom line: show employers that you’re willing to adapt and go beyond your comfort zone.
Feel free to share additional tips on finding post-military employment in the comments section.